Call for Papers | Small Worlds of Football Workshop | Institute of Sport and Sport Science, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, June 24, 2022. Call ends March 15, 2022


Despite the celebration of football (soccer) as the people’s game, little academic attention is given to the people who engage in the sport outside the elite, professional, and structured realms. Small worlds of Football scholars’ collective started to conceptualize research that attends to  the ‘non-elite, recreational player at local level, especially if he or she is not integrated into the formal organisational structures of clubs and associations.’[1] Building on previous workshops, the essays published in the inaugural Special Issue, and other recent publications that attend to the game from “below,”[2] the Institute of Sport and Sport Science at the University of Freiburg will host the next edition of Small Worlds of Football. Situated in the beautiful southern Black Forest, the institute invites papers or expression of interest in participating in the 2022 workshop.

Recognising the increasing, yet, isolated social history and ethnographic publications on everyday forms of football, the small worlds of football, we invite scholars to collectively think through the potential and scope of this project. Aim of the workshop is threefold:

      1. Co-theorize the concept of Small worlds of Football to capture a wider comparative scope of such a research project;
      2. To share and workshop the accepted papers submitted to the workshop; and
      3. Work towards a publication: either publish an Edited Volume or a Special Issue (we are in early conversation with the International Journal of History of Sports).

The workshop is planned to take place in person on the 24 June 2022 at the Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft, Sandfangweg 4, 79102 Freiburg. Please email the complete submission pack to Dr. Kristian Naglo at to be considered for presentation at the workshop. It is possible to participate in the workshop without having to present a paper. In this case, instead of a paper proposal, you may motivate your role and reasons for participation in the workshop. Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your participation, please feel free to email any of us (see organising committee’s details below).

Submission Pack

      1. A paper proposal or an abstract (about 500 words)
      2. 200 words on your understanding of the concept: Small Worlds of Football
      3. Short introduction to your areas of research interests


      • Submission of Abstracts: 15 March 2022
      • Notification on acceptance: 29 March 2022
      • Pre-workshop Dinner: Thursday, 23 June 2022
      • Workshop: Friday, 24 June 2022

Workshop Fees

Free of charge.

Organizing Committee

[1] Naglo, K., Mittag, J. and Porter, D., 2019. Defining, Interpreting and Comparing Small Worlds of Football. An Introduction to the Aims and Objectives of this Special Issue. Moving the Social61, p.5.
[2] See for example, Naglo, K., 2017. Soccer’s small worlds. The International Journal of the History of Sport34(5-6), pp.414-419; Kaur, T., 2021. Kasi Football: an Ethnography of South African Rural Working-Class Football Traditions. FuG–Zeitschrift für Fußball und Gesellschaft2(2), pp.9-10; Desai, A., 2019. Wentworth: the beautiful game and the making of place. University of KwaZulu-Natal Press; Trouille, D., 2021. Fútbol in the Park. University of Chicago Press; among others.
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